Side Dish ‘n’ Saturdays: Lebanese Falafel

Lebanese Falafel

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Serves: 8-10

Falafel Ingredients:
1 lb of dry peeled fava beans*
¾ lbs of of dried chickpeas (aka Garbanzo beans)
1 bunch of Italian parsley (chop away the stems)
2 bunches of green cilantro (chop away the stems)
8-10 cloves of freshly peeled garlic, crushed
1 large red or yellow onion
1 bunch of green onions
2 table spoons of salt
A dash of black pepper
2 table spoons of flour
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 dash of red chilli pepper (optional, if spicy falafel is desired)
1 teaspoon of cumin
3 teaspoons of Coriander

Falafel Tahini Sauce:
2 Table spoons of Tahini Paste
1 cup of freshly squeezed Lemon Juice
3 gloves of garlic, crushed
a dash of salt

Optional Falafel Serving Sides:
– Salty Lebanese Pickles (cucumbers, turnips, pickled chilli peppers)
– Tomatoes
– Chopped fresh Italian parsley
– Pita bread

Prep Day for the Falafel Mix: Soak the fava beans and the chickpeas in water in separate containers overnight.

The following day drain the fava beans, rinse them with fresh water then peel them (you can save time by buying peeled fava beans).

Dry fava beans in a colander for a few moments then run them in the food processor for a minute or two until they look like thin bread crumbs. Put aside in a large bowl.

Similarly rinse and dry the chickpeas then run them in the food processor until they reach the same consistency of the Fava beans. Pour on top of fava beans.

Place the garlic, red onions, green onions, parsley, cilantro, coriander, salt, peppers and flour in the food processor and run for a couple of minutes until they turn into a paste.

Add them to the container with the fava beans and Chickpeas and knead with hands until they reach a doughy texture. If they feel dry add a bit of water and kneed a bit more. At this point feel free to taste the Falafel mix to make sure it has a balanced flavor. The mix can be stored in a freezer bag in the freezer for a few weeks.

Serving Day:

Frying the Falafel – minutes prior to frying, sprinkle baking soda on the Falafel mix, knead and let rest. When ready heat 1 inch deep of cooking oil in the frying pan on medium heat.

Scoop the falafel into by using a specialized Falafel scoop, an ice cream scoop, or by using 2 spoons whereby you scoop the falafel paste in one, and press the other spoon against it to compact into a “cake” then drop gently into the frying pan.

Fry for a few minutes until the falafel turns brownish then scoop them out place on a paper town or in a colander and to dry out the extra oil.

Baking the Falafel – For the health conscious, you can scoop then layer the falafel patties on an aluminum/cooking tray that has been lightly oiled and bake in the oven at 400F for 7-10 minutes.

Falafel Tahini Sauce Preparation (make on serving day):Mix the Tahini sauce ingredients in the blender until they reach a homogeneous texture. Sample to ensure a balance of flavors. A good Falafel Tahini sauce should taste a bit tangy with a hint of garlic.. the sauce should end up looking cream/whitish. Serve as a side/dip.

Notes: Where to Find Fava Beans: look for it in Arab-owned Middle Eastern grocery stores.

Delicious!

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